Even before customers get their hands on the road-going version which is slated to arrive next year, Ford Motor Company just announced that its all-new Ford GT is going back to racing. And they won’t be competing in the grassroots either: they’re going back to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Ford GT is set to compete in the Le Mans GT Endurance class for professional teams and drivers (LM GTE Pro). The race car will compete in 2016, marking the 50th anniversary of Ford GT race cars placing 1-2-3 at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. Of course, Ford went on to win Le Mans in 1967, 68, and 69.
Aside from the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Ford GT race car will run the full 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship making its competition debut in January 2016 in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Florida.
The two Ford teams will be operated by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS). Both series teams intend to compete with a four-car effort at Le Mans.
Ford believes that its GT race car has a number of innovations that will make it competitive in the LM GTE Pro class. These include state-of-the-art aerodynamics to deliver outstanding levels of down force for improved stability with minimal drag, advanced lightweight composites featuring carbon fiber for an exceptionally rigid but light chassis, and the power and efficiency of EcoBoost technology.
Joining Ford in this project are Multimatic Motorsports, Roush Yates Engines, Castrol, Michelin, Forza Motorsport, Sparco, Brembo and CGRFS. The race car has undergone extensive design and testing within Ford and Multimatic, with CGRFS providing input into the development. Roush Yates is supporting development of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 – the most powerful EcoBoost production engine ever.
The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine debuted in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2014. Since then, Ford, with CGRFS, has captured significant overall wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring and Rolex 24 At Daytona. Besides great success in sports cars, Ganassi race teams achieved major victories in the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Indianapolis 500.